Originally released in 1995, Terry Gilliam's viral thriller 12 Monkeys is twenty years old, but present-day headlines make it seem timelier than ever. The recent Ebola scare coupled with reports about fresh outbreaks of diseases like whooping cough have raised fresh concerns about our collective ability to remain immune to the perils of a widespread plague. So it's the ideal time for Syfy to be premiering their new TV version of 12 Monkeys, starring Aaron Stanford in the Bruce Willis role of James Cole, a time-traveler from the disease-ravaged Earth of 2043 who is sent two decades into the past to try and prevent the plague that wipes out much of humanity.
In the first nine minutes of this new Monkeys, which was created by Terra Nova and Nikita writers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, Cole completes one part of his mission — finding virologist Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) who is connected to the mysterious Leland Frost (Tom Noonan). But it turns out to be a case of right person, wrong time. Intending to arrive in 2015, Cole has instead traveled back to 2013, when Cassandra has no idea who this "Leland Frost" person is. She's also reluctant to believe his wild time travel story, until she sees it in action courtesy of a watch — her watch — that he's brought back from the future. "If you believe me, two years from today, Philadelphia, the John Adams Hotel — find me," Cole says, before vanishing. We don't know about you, but after watching this, we're psyched for her to keep that appointment.
12 Monkeys premieres Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. on Syfy.